Give Her an Herb Garden! What do we do this year that we have not done every year in the past? How about giving her a nice terra cotta clay pot to go by the front door with several live herbs to plant in it? She may need a bag of dirt to go with it all--but it is the neatest present for most women and they should love the process of putting it all together. Click here to see the herb garden idea and suggested items to buy. Most grocery stores now carry herbs in the produce section. Family Photo Magnets: Another very cool idea is to pick decent family photos and place magnets of the back to go her refrigerator door. You do not have to use normal size photos if you have a computer that sizes things up and down. You can get creative and type words over the images. I know I never have enough magnets to hang things, and every office supply store in town seems to have the peel and stick magnets, formerly used for just business cards. I see very pretty magnets go for about $5 in the stores, so I may whip out a glue gun and make a bunch myself with little shells or whatever images I do not mind seeing every time I go to get milk. When I am done, I will simply stick the art to the magnet. You could also get her a CD ROM with her favorite music. That would be an very unexpected gift. Silk floral arrangements last forever, so you may want to consider getting her a tasteful one that looks real.
The Mabel White Company is in the process of producing lip balm kits for any art teacher, first grade on up. This is because we find it not only a fun, simple and rewarding project, we have discovered the kids also inherently grasp mathematical and chemical concepts. In preparing lip balm, or even bath bombs for that matter, children begin to understand what a pound is and how many items should be produced from that pound. They also learn just a few drops of fragrance will do the trick and any more than that will not produce more scent to the nose. This is known as the law of diminishing returns! Serving a class of 16 is easy because it only takes four ounces of balm base to make sixteen pots. Each child can have their own surgical plastic "pipette" to extract their share of the warm oil and have their own container to go home with. A set of six popular flavors can just be shared between the class. Students could be asked to bring in old lip stick if they desire a tint to their product. Best of all the base takes only seconds to melt in the microwave and they can learn the basic ratios that are in it that make it all work. If you are a teacher interested in this, please let me know. firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is an idea that worked great! It took a few months to actually try it out, because of the nature of the discipline. We buy many glass bottles, big and small, blue, clear, amber green, and so on when we buy spices, vitamins, fragrance oils and any other consumer glass you can think of--that they can be transformed when empty. Sometimes just using a blow dryer is not enough to get the label off and we started just throwing all bottles with possibilities in a pail. After a few months we were armed and ready within pressure cooker to just make the darn labels melt right off and they sure did. Before we set them into the steamer, we made sure any plastic caps were off and that nothing but glass was going in. Then we made sure every glass stood up and fit snug next to each other. We had to put water half way up in the jars and bottles so they would stay down and we only put enough water in the pot to go about half way up the tallest bottle. There was a problem with extra space, so we threw in a mason jar and that solved the "need to be snug issue." After about ten minutes on 10 pounds of steam pressure we figured no label could withstand that and we simply turned off the heat and let the cooker cool on its own. What came out was great! About 30 beautiful jars and bottles to put in our hobby room. Most labels were just floating around in the water. Do not take hot bottles and throw them into cold water and don't forget to match the caps back up after the glass has cooled.
What a lollipop stick can do! This Easter we made chocolate lollipops simply melting the chocolate in the microwave, and using the right mold. We will be teaching how to make gourmet lollipops in the summer and chocolate candy as cooler months arrive. It is way too easy! My friend, Judea Bentley one upped me on this and created an e-Book called "Cookie Bouquet of Flowers" and another neat e-Book on How to Make Fortune Cookies. You can download these e-Books here. I see these sell for $44 for just seven cookies in the stores! This new industry calls themselves the "Cookie Florists." Thank you so much Judea! Her site is at AuntMaryseBooks.com
We are always challenged with what to put our finished soaps in to give away or sell. One great idea was to put the finished soaps into a big sea shell or clam shell and shrink wrap from that perspective. The soaps need not be shell shaped, but it may be prettier if they were. Suggested fragrances would be coconut, pina colada, mango and/or vanilla.
The actual soaps can be made from white melt and pour soap base which only takes minutes to melt, pour and cool!
For more inspiration, check out Sun Feather Soaps by Sandy Maine. Sandy wrote a very popular book I recommend everyone buy called "Clean Naturally, Recipes for Home, Body and Spirit." Sandy is a small town girl from Potsdam, NY where I was born. Here book is excellent and covers many areas. I hope to visit her this fall. www.sunsoap.com
I have not tried this yet, but I will make some over the weekend. I will pour poppy seeds into the bottom of a soap mold, more than enough to cover the bottom, and then pour just enough clear melt and pour soap base over it to cover the seeds. I will be putting just a few drops of lemon fragrance oil in the soap base before I pour. When the first layer is cool, I may pour white melt and pour soap base into the rest of the mold, also scented with lemon. Whether or not I use color, I am not sure. If I do it may be just a tad of Turmeric or Tangerine oil. I feel the soap will be great as an exfoliant and even better if I add a little Vitamin e oil to the soap base. This technique can also be used with oatmeal. I have seen very pretty oatmeal bars done this way. When using oatmeal, I would choose vanilla for the scent.
Mabel White’s fragrance oils can be used in bath products, aroma warmers, and candle making. We mix the most powerful oils on the market. Use the plastic pipettes to:
· Transfer oil into your aroma warmer
You can also create your own special bath oil by mixing a few drops of Mabel’s Fragrance Oils to vitamin e, primrose, or any other beneficial oil you like and shaking thoroughly. Vitamin e is a natural preservative, so there should be little problems with lifespan when incorporating vitamin e oil.
The Mabel White Company is looking for a part time editor who is a Microsoft Word whiz, good photography and graphic skills are a plus.
We have reduced and adjusted our shipping fees as well as expanded our line of essential and fragrance oils. Three new smashing fragrance oils include Wild Flowers, Fruit Slices and Chocolate. We will have a search tool soon, for the whole site, since I even tend to forget where I put stuff. When used in aroma warmers, customers are finding our fragrance oils so strong they are simply adding a few drops now and then to the "spent" oil. We also have new affordable pure oils such as Avocado, Hazelnut and Walnut we intend to post a new line of bath recipes for. We will soon be carrying one electric aroma warmer for $14.95 that can be used for college dorms and retirement homes that do not allow any kind of candles.
The Dollar Stretcher is a newsletter worth subscribing to and its main focus is ways to save money. This company can be located at www.stretcher.com.